TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A piece of legislation included in the state budget passed by Florida lawmakers on Monday will make diapers tax-free starting later this year.
The $112 billion budget was voted forward by both chambers and now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will sign it into law or potentially veto all or parts of it.
The diaper tax legislation included in the legislation was put forward by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Broward. It makes diapers a tax-free item, beginning with the start of the new budget on July 1.
The tax-free status for diapers has been a policy goal of hers since she took office in 2016, she said in a post celebrating its passage on Twitter. Book said the sales tax removal would help Florida families afford necessities. In the tweet, she pointed out that the state ended sales taxes on tampons and feminine hygiene products in 2017. Book said one in three families in the state still report “experiencing diaper need” and described the common child care item as an “essential health and hygiene product.”
While reaction to its passage was positive, the senator said the legislation did not include adult incontinence products, an item she had pushed to include. She promised to try again in the next legislative session.
Book was not the only senator to highlight the legislation removing taxes on diapers. Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel also mentioned the tax savings on diapers in a statement released by the Florida Senate. Stargel serves as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Floridians can be proud that we are living within our means and bolstering our rainy day fund – the state’s savings account – to historic levels,”Stargel said. “We are making sure that we remain prepared to tackle any future challenges that our state may face, but also, by spending less than we have, we can offer key tax relief that focuses on the needs of growing families with short and long-term tax savings on items like diapers, hurricane supplies, school supplies, and gas.”
The state budget takes effect fully on July 1, and is up to the governor to give his final approval. Florida does allow for line-item vetoes in the budget, meaning DeSantis can choose to take some portions out to reduce spending, such as funding for the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund, which he vetoed in 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget passed the House and Senate unanimously, meaning it has a veto-proof majority, should the governor choose not to pass the budget. However, DeSantis is expected to sign the proposed funding package.